Pune is a city of so many things that it doesn’t have a single most important icon or identifier. (That made creating a logo damn easy, I say!) Wikipedia will tell you a lot about Pune. However, we’ll tell you what can be considered useful. More exhaustive information can be found on Wikitravel.
Getting to Pune
Land: From within India, Pune has enough trains, buses and taxi services available from anywhere in the country. By train, you need to get to Pune Junction, the main railway station. If not, Shivaji Nagar Station is also fine.
Buses have different stops depending on where they are coming from and where they are going. Please check with the operator.
Air: We currently don’t have a civil airport. All flights are operated from a military airport controlled by the Indian Air Force. (That reminds us, photography is strictly not permitted inside the airport).
Pune airport is served by almost all domestic carriers. The number of flights is however limited since it is a military airport. Currently, international flights operate only to Dubai and Frankfurt.
via Mumbai: So, if you are coming from outside India or if you don’t have a direct flight to Pune from your city, it is a good idea to get to Mumbai. Mumbai and Pune are connected by a multitude of taxi cab services, trains, private buses and public buses. We absolutely recommend this trip via an expressway that twists and turns through the scenic Lonavala hills. You can book such services online, even with your airline. You can book a bus via redbus.
However, our combined experience recommends staying away from private bus operators because they don’t have fixed prices, they aren’t punctual and the trip will not start till the bus is full, even if it means making you wait for a couple of hours.
We recommend Maharashtra government’s Shivneri service, which can be booked on the spot or online. It is not punctual, but it’s by a couple of minutes. Also the trip will start even if you are the only passenger on the bus. (They pick passengers up on the way, relax!)
The journey takes about 3 hours depending on the traffic and your vehicle.
- Don’t board a bus in Pune, it can break down anytime. Also, they crawl and are dirty.
- Don’t take an auto in Pune, unless they agree to bill you by the meter. Never agree to a fixed cost. They’re known to charge 2-10 times the actual cost.
- Take cabs from
- Lot of educational institutions = lot of students
- Osho, Sadhu Vaswani, Meher baba, ISKCON, Art of Living = lot of spiritual tourists from all over the world
- Indian Army, Armed Forces Medical College, National Defence Academy, Indian Airforce = Lot of serving and retired servicemen
- Lot of IT companies = lot of geeks = you are in good company
- Lot of expats; if you come from Europe, Africa, Iran, any of the Americas or Russia, start checking Couchsurfing!
- We are very chilled out = you may be denied service when shop owners take their afternoon nap.
- We are very straightforward, to the point of rudeness (but not meanness), please don’t get offended
- We have our own genre of funny signboards
Eat, drink, party, etc
Pune is filled with world class pubs and eateries. We boast of half a dozen breweries. We also have branches of almost all international franchisees. Fast-food, street food, gourmet — we’ve got everything covered.
Around the time the WordCamp is planned (September) is Janmashtami (September 5), when dangerously tall human pyramids vie to break clay pots hung high in the air for cash and prestige. Expect lots of colors, loud drums, music, excitement, dance, thrills and nail biting suspense.
Oh, and there are plenty of things to see and do:
Any other suggestions are also welcome. Do let us know in the comments.